As I was enjoying guacamole and chips on Cinco De Mayo earlier this month, it came to me to dedicate an entire column to avocados. After all, they can be really healthy or, in some recipes, loaded with delicious but not-so-good-for-you ingredients making the avocado dish … not so good for you. Avocados are called one of the good-for-you fats with around 20 vitamins and minerals, not to mention that they are also cholesterol free. The big question is, are avocados a fruit or a vegetable? I contacted my brother-in-law Edward, who has about 25-30 avocado trees on his property in Ventura, Calif. for the answer. After all, he grew up on the Boughton family farm and went to Ohio State where he got his bachelor’s of science degree in food science and industry. And the answer is: avocados are classified as berries, because a fruit is the part of a plant that develops from its flower and contains the seeds – or in the avocado’s case – seed. Thank you, Edward, now could you please box up and ship us a few dozen of your organic, GMO-free California avocados to your favorite Texas family? 

While I’m waiting for a delivery from my brother-in-law, “Please Join My Table” as we dip into the following avocado recipes I have discovered. 

This is the guacamole recipe that Chipotle’s Restaurant shared with me last year: “We know that you know that guac is extra, but have you ever thought about what makes it so delicious? Well, it starts with sourcing the best whole ingredients possible, and ends with a quick mash in our restaurant. In fact, it’s so easy, we’re going to show you how to do it.”

Chipotle’s Guacamole Recipe 

INGREDIENTS
2 ripe Hass avocados (In  the restaurant, they use  48 per batch, multiple  times per day)
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro  (chopped)
1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
1/2 jalapeño, including seeds (finely chopped)
1/4-teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS: Choose the right avocado. It should feel squishy yet firm (like the palm of your hand), and be a nice dark green color on the outside. Cut the avocado in half and then remove the pit (carefully). Scoop the avocados and place in a medium bowl. Toss and coat with lime juice. Add the salt and using a fork or potato masher, mash until a smooth consistency is achieved. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste the guacamole (over and over) and adjust seasoning if necessary.

That’s Chipotle’s recipe. If you want to put a spin on it, like I do, grill one ear of corn, allow it to cool, remove the kernels and fold them into the guac! This is great served with cumin-scented tortilla chips.

Cumin-Scented Tortilla Chips

INGREDIENTS

6 white or yellow corn tortillas
1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
Salt and freshly ground  black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tortillas with oil on both sides and season one side with salt, pepper and a mixture of ground cumin and cumin seeds. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut into triangles or just break into pieces.

My Breakfast Avocado Quinoa Frittata (or Crustless Quiche)

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 teaspoon olive oil 
8 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk|
1/2 large avocado, seeded,  peeled and cubed into small pieces
1/3 cup crumbled whole-milk feta cheese
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped raw baby spinach, stems removed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2/3 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup grated Manchego  cheese or a hard  cheese of your choice 

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a quiche pan with the olive oil. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk; stir in avocado, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, thyme, oregano, quinoa and salt. Pour into the quiche dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until set. Remove quiche from oven, remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake 10-15 minutes more or until golden brown. Let the frittata stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8 

Stuffed Avocado (similar to Chachi’s)

INGREDIENTS

2-4 organic Hass Avocados
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
Cooked meat of your choice (approx. 6  ounces per whole avocado; shrimp, crab, shredded chicken, pork or beef)
Shredded Mexican cheese to taste-2 tablespoons per avocado

INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER 

1 16-ounce Mexican Beer 
1/4 cup soda water
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cornmeal

DIRECTIONS FOR BATTER:

Mix all dry ingredients except cornmeal together in a large bowl. Gently stir in beer and soda water (do not stir out the bubbles). Set aside. Place the cornmeal on a dinner plate; set aside.

DIRECTIONS FOR AVOCADO: Preheat oil in deep fryer (or in a large skillet) to 350 degrees. Slice avocados in half lengthwise. Peel and remove seed. In a bowl combine COOKED meat, onion and shredded cheese. Mix well. Press meat and cheese mixture into the center of both sides of the avocado. Do not to break it. Put the halves back together and dip into beer batter, coating it completely. Gently roll it in the cornmeal till completely coated. Fry the avocado in oil until golden, about 2 minutes in a deep fryer or  a little longer in a skillet. Gently place the fried avocado on a paper towel to drain off the oil. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce with pico de gallo and sour cream.

 

 

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Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.